Long-term up­date

BFGoodrich’s new mud­dies

Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

ThE cus­tom wrap is done. The spare wheel is mounted on the roof rack. The wa­ter­tank and jerry cans on the roof rack have been re­placed by two smaller am­mu­ni­tion boxes.

We’re as close to fin­ish­ing this project as dammit is to swear­ing but it’s not quite done yet. Those beau­ti­ful Rac­ing Hart Con­cepts off-road rims and the bulky 285/70 R70 BFGoodrich mud ter­rains cer­tainly look the part but are just a whisker too wide for our lik­ing. We’re re­ally talk­ing a whisker here but our ar­cane selfs are not happy with the look of it.

So we’ve been shop­ping around for some suitable wheel arch ex­ten­sion so­lu­tions. There are moulded plas­tic ones avail­able, yes, but they are wider than we want, and they re­quire that holes be drilled in the Ford’s body, which we don’t want to do (the ve­hi­cle has to be re­stored to a 100% orig­i­nal con­di­tion af­ter this test).

We’ve also paid a visit to spe­cial­ist rub­ber ex­tru­sion com­pany, Pro Auto Rub­ber, for a look at the com­pany’s PR165 uni­ver­sal rub­ber ex­tru­sion prod­uct, as used on dou­ble cab bakkies. The prod­uct seemed per­fect but the prob­lem came in with the Ever­est’s rear doors, and the rear wheel arch lines that runs through them.

There is no way of at­tach­ing the rub­ber prod­uct to the rear door sec­tions. So that plan was scrapped.

We’re still on the hunt for the right bits to com­plete the Ever­est projects (without drilling holes or cut­ting off bits of car).

Mean­while, the Ever­est has been rack­ing up the miles do­ing some­thing it was not re­ally de­signed to do: ne­go­ti­at­ing the daily traf­fic grind around Jo­han­nes­burg. The good news is that the cabin re­mains ex­tremely com­fort­able. The SYNC3 in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is still a high­light in the leather­clad cabin as is the smooth pow­er­train and the 470Nm of torque from the five-cylin­der tur­bod­iesel en­gine.

On the flip­side, the big­ger wheels and ex­tra drag and weight have not been kind to the fuel con­sump­tion... in the traf­fic the big Ford drinks around 15 litres/100km. On the open road, if you drive at 120km/h, it drops down to about 13 litres/100km.

An­other sur­prise has been the BFGoodrich mud ter­rain tyres, es­pe­cially from a com­fort point of view. In the past we’ve fit­ted some mud ter­rains to 4×4s that were so noisy in­side the cabin we had to crank up the sound sys­tem to max­i­mum to try to drone out the rum­ble from the muds. BFGoodrich’s own pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion mud ter­rains were as hardy as any­thing but quite noisy on the road.

The good news is that the lat­est KM3 mud ter­rains, as fit­ted to the Ever­est, is – con­sid­er­ing the ag­gres­sive tread pat­tern – re­mark­ably quiet on the road. It’s only when you open the driver’s win­dow that you can hear a bit of a rum­ble, and only on cer­tain road sur­faces. If you close the Ford’s win­dows, you re­ally have to lis­ten care­fully to hear any rum­ble from those 285s.

The KM3s fea­ture CoreGard Max tech­nol­ogy to en­sure max­i­mum side­wall pro­tec­tion, and new and mod­ern KrawlTEK tread com­pounds that’s not only said to en­sure bet­ter grip in tough off-road con­di­tions, but re­sults in the lower lev­els of tyre noise.

We’ve been champ­ing at the bit to take the Ford of­froad­ing to test those BFGs to the full.

Looks like that time is (fi­nally) around the cor­ner.

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